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Adopting the system of rice intensification (SRI) in Tanzania

Farmer visit to SRI plot in Mlimba village, Mlimba, Morogoro, TZ, village

Farmer visit to SRI plot in Mlimba village, Mlimba, Morogoro, TZ, village. Photo by Erika Styger

The demand of water for irrigation purposes in Tanzania outstrips the amount of water available for irrigation and other demands. On the other hand, the demand for more food to feed the growing population is increasing, calling for the need to have technologies and farming practices that ensure more food production while minimizing water uses. Rice is among cereal crops grown in Tanzania, and it can assist in meeting the food demand for the nation. Majority of rice producers in Tanzania and Sub-Saharan Africa(SSA) are subsistence farmers and they practice continuous flooding, a technique that requires much water. In addition to using large amounts of water, the conventional practices of growing paddy using local varieties transplanting process are implemented when seedlings are more than 21 days old, and 3-4 seedlings are transplanted in one hole. This practice results in low yields, and low water productivity and water use efficiency. The system of rice intensification (SRI) on the other hand, is a promising new practice of growing paddy rice that has proven to be very effective in saving water and increasing rice yields in many parts of the world. SRI practice is spreading fast and it has been adopted in many countries. The SRI practice has been introduced in Tanzania during the last 3 years as such it is not widely practiced. This paper reviews SRI practice at global, regional and country (Tanzania) level, and evaluates the challenges, opportunities and implications for its adoption in Tanzania. Knowledge gaps at each level have been identified and discussed as well as suggestions for researchable areas.

Katambara, Zacharia, Kahimba. Frederick C. Mahoo, Henry F. Mbungu, Winfred B. Mhenga, Fikiri. Reuben, Paul. Maugo, Muyenjwa. Nyarubamba, Anthon. Adopting the system of rice intensification (SRI) in Tanzania: A review. http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?PaperID=35698

A Study of the African White Rice Stem Borer at Mwea Irrigation Scheme in Central Kenya.

The African white rice stem borer (Maliarpha separatella Ragonot) is a major pest of rice in Kenya. To understand and develop appropriate management packages, its population dynamics were studied at Mwea irrigation scheme in Central Kenya. This was for two wet and two dry periods. Farmer fields located in different parts of the scheme and outside the scheme were sampled every fortnight. Farms sampled represented five water provision schedules (System of Rice intensification (SRI), rain fed, flood irrigated, sporadic irrigation, and fallow period). Five planting regimes (on season, off season double cropping, ratoon, and late planting) and three management styles (controlled by National Irrigation Board (N.I.B), not controlled by N.I.B and out-growers) were studied. During each sampling, a 1mx1m quadrant was used randomly and pest counted on all the plants within the quadrant. Results showed that the number of M. separatella varied significantly (p<0.05) in the scheme. Pest densities were highest in off season planted rice (13.1). High numbers were also found in Non N.I.B controlled fields with sporadic irrigation (8.1) and the lowest in the N.I.B, fallow (2.5) and this was significant (p<0.05). There were no significant differences in pest infestations on the normal season crop (0.3) and the ratoon crop (0.6) p<0.05 and SRI and conventional irrigated fields (p<0.05). From the results it is recommended that off season planting of rice be discouraged and that efforts are made to ensure that farmers synchronize planting dates and other cultural practices for the crop, within the scheme and in rice farms outside the scheme.

V. M., Kega, M, Kasina, J. H., Nderitu, F, Olubayo. .A Study of the African White Rice Stem Borer (Maliarpha separatella Rag.) Population Density Fluctuations
http://www.hrpub.org/journals/article_info.php?aid=5526

Integrating Mechanical Weeding and Planting for Reduced Labour Input in Paddy Rice under System of Rice Intensification (SRI)

Integrating Mechanical Weeding and Planting for Reduced Labour Input in Paddy Rice under System of Rice Intensification (SRI)